, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 315–330 | Cite as

Life history of yellow baboons: Physical development, reproductive parameters, and infant mortality

  • Jeanne Altmann
  • Stuart A. Altmann
  • Glenn Hausfater
  • Sue Ann McCuskey


Longitudinal data from a population of yellow baboons,Papio cynocephalus, in the Amboseli National Park, Kenya, provide life history parameter estimates. Females reached menarche at approximately four-and-a-half years of age and then cycled for approximately a year before first conception. Postpartum anestrum averaged 12 months but ranged from six to 16 months. In cases of still births or infant death during postpartum amenorrhea, females commenced cycling after approximately one month. In mature females the time spent cycling before conception was five months on the average with a range from one to over 18 months. Only half of all full-term pregnancies resulted in infants who survived the first year of life; only a third, in infants who survived until the birth of their mother’s next infant. In comparison with data from laboratory colonies, our data indicate that female baboons in Amboseli are older at birth of first infant. They have, on the average, a somewhat shorter interbirth interval than was estimated from earlier crossectional field data, and therefore spend a larger portion of their adult life pregnant, but have a much longer interval—at least three years on the average—between the birth of an infant and the birth of that infant’s next older surviving sibling. A number of morphological changes in immature baboons are described.


Life History Infant Mortality Animal Ecology Adult Life Infant Death 
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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeanne Altmann
    • 1
  • Stuart A. Altmann
    • 1
  • Glenn Hausfater
    • 2
  • Sue Ann McCuskey
    • 2
  1. 1.Allee Laboratory of Animal BehaviorUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychology and Biology, Department of Environmental SciencesUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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